In order for organizations to maintain their outstanding talent of both Gen X and the Millennials, it is important to have an understanding of the expectations of these two generations. Each generation brings a different view of what they want from their workplaces and employers. In addition, each generation contributes different talents and strengths. What are the some of the clues regarding each of these groups and how can organizations best meet their needs?
Gen X (Born 1965-1976)
- Originators of the work/life balance
- Want to work for an organization that helps develop their career
- Feel comfortable questioning authority and rules
- Major trait: self-reliance
- Contribute content to social media
Millennials (Born 1977-1997)
- See work as part of life
- View work as a place to make new friends and develop relationships
- Want to learn and master new skills to apply to their jobs through training, coaching and mentoring
- Major trait: love feedback
- Most technologically savvy and can bring the latest technology and social networks to the workplace
With the economy easing its way back, and the baby boomers beginning to contemplate retirement, this is a great time for organizations to create cultures of learning and training. It also is a good time to take stock in how to best integrate the Gen X and Millennial generations. One of the best ways to begin is to put a priority on Leadership training for the younger generations. Interview successful leaders in your organization and ask what a successful leader looks like. What are the characteristics and qualities of excellent leadership? Once you ascertain those traits, a leadership skills training program can be developed to address those areas. Additionally, how to create vision, how to energize the troops, how to communicate most effectively, all need to be evaluated for your particular culture.
Seize this opportunity to launch the process of developing your future leaders. The time is perfect. Are you ready and up to the task?